I have started to panic a little about paying for Christmas. It has been a year since I started working part time, so my salary halved itself exactly. This has meant that we have put little into savings since our daughter was born, and we’ve also been unfortunate with some events over the last 14 months; two completely dead cars, a broken boiler, and a leak in the roof. So whatever savings we did have are very much diminished now.
I am a planner. I have put in place a savings plan for to rebuild our household and emergency savings – I aim to put away £25 a month. Every Monday I have also been transferring over any odd balance we have, e.g. if we have £632.80 in our account I would transfer the £2.80 into savings, leaving £630 in our current account.
So, with our regular savings account getting its act together, my attention has turned to Christmas. I don’t want to just diminish any regular savings we have managed to get together (Martin Lewis even recommends we should have six months worth of bills in savings for emergency) by blowing it all on Christmas. So I have a plan of how I will be getting together the money, and have detailed this below. Last year we spent £500 on Christmas, and whilst this may not be possible this year I am going to give it my best shot!
Some of these might seem such trivial amounts, but every little helps right?
EBay and Facebook Selling Sites
With a fast growing child, I have tons of stuff that we no longer need. I also have a wardrobe bursting within clothes that I am doubtful will ever fit me again. One issue with EBay is that you do have to be willing to allow some things to go very cheaply – much less than their original value. However, I have softened this blow by reminding myself that the other option is for them to bring in no income, so even £1 is worth it. In the last week I have made £20 selling three items; a pair of Clark’s kids shoes, two of my old dresses, and two old Marvel posters.
My aim is to have made £150 by Christmas.
Top Cashback allows you to receive money back on your purchases at certain merchants when going through their website. You can then turn these points into giftcards for retailers including Tesco, M&S, Love2Shop, and Debenhams. You can also have money paid into your Bank or PayPal account, but you get slightly less for choosing this option.
My issue with TCB is that I often forget to use it, so I actually think I would have accumulated a lot more if I remembered each time. One example is when I missed out on getting 8% back on £300 of Mothercare nursery furniture – I am not sure I will every get over that one! I have £75 in this account currently, I started my account in 2016 and have never cashed out – but like I said I often forget to use it.
Shoppix is so simple to use, but does take a while to build up points. You simply snap your receipts and complete a short survey. You collect tokens and can then redeem these for giftcards or cash out with PayPal.
The cash out levels are as follows.
- 3200 Tokens = £5
- 6000 Tokens = £10
- 11500 Tokens = £20
You get 25 tokens per receipt, and a time bonus of 5 tokens if you snap the receipt on the same day as purchase. There are also weekly surveys you can participate in, these give you around 10-40 tokens each. As well as tokens, users are also awarded with scratchcards which can sometimes give you additional tokens. If you sign up to Shoppix, my referral code is 5F85QFCA.
I have made £5 so far using this app. My aim is £20 by Christmas.
I am very new to Vypr so the verdict is still out on if I actually recommend it, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Vypr carries out market research for brands by having users complete very short surveys (I would say less than a minute each) about products, referred to as ‘steers’. Each steer completed gives you 20-50 points, and achieving 10,000 points gives you £5. You can only complete the steers when they appear for you and it is recommended you check in a few times each day to avoid missing them. The money then gets transferred to your PayPal account.
My goal is £20 by Christmas.
Boots Advantage Card
This isn’t a new thing, I am sure most people are aware of the Boots Advantage Card; I have held mine since I was a teenager. For every £1 you spend, you receive four points and each point is worth 1p. Obviously these can only be spent at Boots, but I usually buy some gifts from their Christmas section. I haven’t cashed in my points for a few years and currently have £53 worth of points.
Coin savings can be great as you often don’t feel like you are sacrificing that much. I tried for a while to do set amounts but always struggled, falling behind on what I was meant to put in, and then stopping all together when I became unmotivated.
My goal is £50 by Christmas, which averages putting in around £2 a week.
Goal total: £368
Which leaves me £132 short – a much easier amount to find in November/ December than £500!
Nothing within the post is sponsored or any sort of advert, although the referral codes (Top Cashback and Shoppix) will give me some form of benefit like extra points in my account so if you do sign up and use any of them I will be extremely grateful.